The Seattle Seawolves re-signed Nakai Penny through the 2024 Major League Rugby season. The 25-year-old flanker (26 in April) is 6’3″ and 220 lbs.
Nakai played 133 minutes in 3 matches, starting 1, in the 2021 season. Injuries ended his season prematurely.
He started all five matches during the truncated 2020 MLR season, playing 352 minutes and scoring 2 tries.
During the 2019 season, he played 786 minutes in 12 matches and scored 1 try. He carried 63 times for 408 meters, made 169 tackles, missed 4, and had 16 dominant tackles. He also had 1 linebreak, 3 tackle breaks, and made two offloads.
In 2018 he played 214 minutes in 5 matches, starting three of them.
Penny was born in Penticton, British Columbia, and played rugby throughout high school at Penticton Secondary where he graduated in 2014. That year, the Pen High Lakers advanced to the AAA Okanagan Valley semifinal where they lost to the Salmon Arm Gold 17-12 in overtime.
Penny then enrolled at the University of British Columbia in 2014 and played with the Thunderbirds through 2017. He majored in Kinesiology.
In 2015 he played with future Seawolves teammate Brock Staller, as the Thunderbirds placed 3rd at the 2015 World University Rugby Cup. At the tournament, they had a significant win over the New Zealand Universities.
The team also won the B.C Premier League for 3 consecutive years from 2015 to 2017. He won the 2015 Canadian Rugby Championship with the B.C U19 men and was selected to Canada’s U20 squad in 2016.
In 2017 he played at flanker with the BC Bears and won the 2017 Canadian Rugby Championship alongside fellow Seawolves Phil Mack, George Barton, and Brock Staller. In 2018 he also was on the BC Bears and played in two matches.
Seattle indicated that in re-signing Nakai in 2019 that “the flanker adds even more depth to the Seawolves forward pack with his physicality carrying the ball with pace and strength in contact. Penny is not someone you want to run into on either side of the ball and provides more athleticism to our set-pieces.”
During the 2020 season, he will continue to be a defensive force as he seeks increased playing time.
Canada National Team
Nakai made his debut for Canada against Uruguay at the Americas Rugby Championship in Montevideo, Uruguay on February 2, 2019. The latest of his three tests was against Chile at Langford on February 22, 2019.
Seattle Seawolves Comments
Committed to the hunt in the Seattle Southside through 2024, a Seawolf original and two-time MLR Champion returns in Flanker Nakai Penny.
“Absolutely delighted Nakai has signed a 3-year extension with the Seawolves.
Although he missed the 2021 season, he’s still young with a tremendous work ethic. His diligent approach with rehab, attention to detail in the classroom, and thirst to improve are true examples to all.
I’m sure all our fans are pleased with the news Nakai has committed to the Club and are eager to see him on the field again, both pursuing his individual goals and in establishing the Seawolves as a force in MLR.”